As a modern sales leader, you know that implementing and maximizing a CRM system like Salesforce can amplify your sales organization in a major way.
That’s why almost 400 sales leaders from Metro Detroit recently came together for a Salesforce Essentials event to discuss their experience with the platform.
“We really motivate staff to use Salesforce, and I think that they’ve become better salespeople,” said Mitch Henderson, co-CEO of BNP Media, on a panel of Salesforce customers.
Mitch was joined on the panel by three other sales leaders:
- Christopher Gasparovic, Director of Business Services, Duo Security
- Christina Symbert, VP Client Experience, Rocket Fiber
- Justin Glass, Chief Digital Officer, United Shore
All four shared some of their best practices and most tactical tips for getting the most out of Salesforce. Here’s a summary of what they said.
16 Salesforce Tips to Get the Most out of CRM
How they use Salesforce…
- “It’s been five years now, it gave us incredible transparency across the entire organization. What started as a basic CRM, we were thinking, has transformed our company into something far beyond what we had envisioned.” – Mitch Henderson, co-CEO of BNP Media
- “We use Salesforce cradle to grave for the sales process, and beyond that we also use it for the customer success platform.” – Christopher Gasparovic, Director of Business Services, Duo Security
- “We looked at many different tools and ultimately landed with salesforce and have super quickly been able to develop a complete end-to-end process focused on client experience.” – Christina Mathes, VP Client Experience, Rocket Fiber
- “We started out on our sales side, bringing that into really see what our salespeople are doing. We have a completely inside sales team. And that’s quickly expanded out to service, and really any area of our company that’s speaking to a client is on the Salesforce platform. That way, we get that full 360 view into what everyone’s doing and how we’re interacting with our clients.” – Justin Glass, Chief Digital Officer, United Shore
How they promote Salesforce adoption…
- “One of the things we talk about is if it’s not in Salesforce, we assume you don’t know it or didn’t do it. Also bringing in other tools into Salesforce – keeping [reps] out of multiple systems — really has helped our sales team and our client service team to support our business and our clients by being in that one platform.” – Justin Glass, Chief Digital Officer, United Shore
- “You want your team members to feel like they’re successful every day and that they’re being efficient…most of our folks aren’t physically in the office, so they don’t sit at a computer and they don’t have a desk to be able to log information. So, I couldn’t create a process that needed to be handled at a computer. So, with things like the app, and a lot of other plugins, we’ve been able to create an experience for the team members to use so folks actually want to use it, because I think it’s important that you’re not forcing people into a process that doesn’t work for them just for process’ sake. You have to do what’s right for your folks.” – Christina Mathes, VP Client Experience, Rocket Fiber
- “We actually have a pretty empowered business group that are strong advocates of the platform. With our agile development methodology, we’re able to engage them in the process. Also, we use tools that help walk you through the system, like WalkMe and some other plugins to help coach people along the way. Our CEO is in Salesforce every day, but we also extend Salesforce information out to our end users. We use Slack. We use Chatter.” – Christopher Gasparovic, Director of Business Services, Duo Security
- “Adoption was a big concern at the beginning, and it turned out to not really be a big issue. We’ve got so much transparency across what’s happening in an account to the contact level that salespeople have just really brought it on board to their everyday sales life. We’ve also utilized the AppExchange. We’re on LevelEleven — that’s given us the Scorecard — and salespeople love saying when they create quotes and opportunities and close deals. We actually had to turn off scorecard recently because we were moving the API, and we didn’t think it was a big deal. And the next day there were 70 emails saying ‘Where’s my Scorecard?’ They love it. They’ve fully adopted it.” – Mitch Henderson, co-CEO of BNP Media
How they implement and deploy new Salesforce processes…
- “I think it all starts with the user experience and how the salesperson is going to be better with this new workflow or application that we might install. We’re trying to embrace the model of what’s natural and what’s going to make the salesperson a better professional. And when you adopt that mindset, I feel like the architecture kind of follows that lead. We’ll take the top dozen salespeople and introduce them to it, and they’ll give us some refinements. And then as we roll it out, it’s kind of already been vetted. We will, on purpose, bring in one or two detractors. And a detractor on Salesforce is actually a pretty good user, they’re just not maximizing it. But they can provide some really good feedback, and sometimes they move out of the detractor area. Those tend to be the newer people.” – Mitch Henderson, co-CEO of BNP Media
- “Within our organization, it’s all about process. So we developed an agile methodology, and everything from delivering plugins to actual customized development, we deliver through the agile process. So, we have a development cycle, a [user acceptance testing] cycle, a [quality assurance] cycle. And we have partners in the business, and they actually, as part of the process, will develop videos for new features. And it’s a complete adoption process that’s followed for everything we do. So it’s easy to take a new feature and push it out to the business.” – Christopher Gasparovic, Director of Business Services, Duo Security
- “We have super candid discussions about big impact vs. small impact, nice-to-have vs. must-have, and really narrowing in on the things we have to have as an organization in order to make it through the next month has been critical in the space that we’re in. We don’t have the luxury of having any back-up systems. I already don’t have enough team members. These are things that we’re fighting through already as a small business. So, making sure that we’re focused on change and process improvement in the areas that will make the biggest splash for the rep and the efficiency level of the team member has been critical for us to keep an eye on.” – Christina Mathes, VP Client Experience, Rocket Fiber
- “Trailhead has really helped my team develop and be able to move along quickly. As far as us, we’re really really sales heavy. We’re a wholesale mortgage company, and with loans, there’s so much data that comes with it, so we really don’t know what to do with it all. So when we look to develop or put new things in the Salesforce platform, it’s really about meeting with the sales team: What’s important to them? What do they need to know? What are they trying to look at? We’ve got to get rid of that white noise because, with so much data, they don’t know what to do with it all. So, we’ve done a lot of integrations in our back-end system, but only putting in information that’s valuable to them as a salesperson, that’s going to make them sell better, make them more efficient and make their clients happy because they know what’s going on.” – Justin Glass, Chief Digital Officer, United Shore
Advice for prospective or new Salesforce users…
- “It is so powerful, but it’s overwhelming not only as users and people trying to implement it, but it’s very overwhelming to CEOs and people who may not be technical but know that there’s a need. So start off small. Choose the one thing you could really focus on in your business…get your foot in the door with it, and then you can grow it from there.” – Justin Glass, Chief Digital Officer, United Shore
- “Take advantage of the fact that’s it’s so easily configured, and empower the people that work in the system and are client-facing to know that they have the ability to impact change, and give them a place to funnel those ideas through so that those ideas can actually be implemented. I think so many companies – whether small or big — can sometimes get stuck in this place of having a legacy system where things take so long to fix or improve. So to really take advantage of and have a place for those ideas to funnel through. We use the idea portal through the community. Empower your folks to make change.” – Christina Mathes, VP Client Experience, Rocket Fiber
- “It’s so easy to add plugins, so [my advice is to] focus on the problem you’re having and a solution to that. Try to eliminate some of the distractions of all of the stuff in the system, but also leverage the Salesforce team.” – Christopher Gasparovic, Director of Business Services, Duo Security
- “Our biggest regret is that we didn’t pull the trigger sooner, and I’m not just saying that. I wish we had Salesforce before the whole ‘07-08 financial [recession]. And frankly, I’m not excited about the next recession, but I feel like we’re better equipped not to see it. And I feel like we’re in the middle of this mobile, social, cloud revolution.” – Mitch Henderson, co-CEO of BNP Media
Want to attend a Salesforce Essentials event in your community? Check out the events page to learn where they’ll be stopping next.